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1952 Erin 2021

Erin Bueschel

July 14, 1952 — May 2, 2021

Erin Christine Barch Bueschel, of Rockford, Illinois passed away on May 2, 2021 after a 24 year long battle with cancer. She was born in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan on July 14, 1952, the daughter of Kathleen Muldoon Barch and Chester Barch.

The third of four children, Erin (or Chrissy as she was known as a child), started her life in Michigan and moved to Rockford where she attended high school. She was part of a loving and active family and stayed connected to her siblings throughout their lives. Erin is predeceased by her mother, Kathleen Barch, her father, Chester Barch and her brother, Brian Barch. She is survived by her sister, Caren (Robert) Canfield and her brother Bruce (Teresa) Barch and sister-in-law, Paula Barch as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.

It was during her high school years that she met the love of her life, Tom. She went on to graduate from Guilford High School in 1970 and then completed her degree at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. On August 24, 1974, in a ceremony amongst friends and family, Erin and Tom wed in Hartford, Wisconsin and celebrated at the Barch family farm in Rubicon, Wisconsin. After the wedding, they embarked on a cross country road trip which would take them to Spokane, Washington, where Tom would attend law school.

Once that adventure had ended, they returned to Rockford where Erin and Tom would remain together. Erin and Tom were true to their marriage vows, which Erin wrote, from beginning to end. True to those words, they supported each other through their accomplishments and disappointments, their joys and sadness. They helped to fulfill their dreams as individuals and as a couple. They promised to love and honor each other as best friends and to cherish each moment of their lives together. Their relationship was a steadfast support for the entire family and an example that their children strive to follow. It is for that reason that each of her children chose to use the same vows when they married so to continue the tradition within their own families. Tom and Erin supported each other until death separated them, and for this Erin was proud. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Tom.

Erin had many life accomplishments, but she was most proud of her children. She was the ultimate mother not only to her own six children, but also to spouses, neighbors, friends and anyone who needed a place to feel loved and safe even if only for a while. She supported each child for their strengths and weaknesses as individuals and was so proud to not only love, but to also like and enjoy the adults they each became. She is survived by her children and their spouses; Katherine (Adam) Kabaker, Christine (Joseph) Spair, Jennifer (Doug) Biddle, Nicole (Richard) Bossert, Geoffrey (Jessica) Bueschel, and Brian (Amanda) Bueschel. She is also survived by her 18 grandchildren, who called her Nana. They include Rianna, Brandon, Natalie, Jackson, Avery, Brody, Alyssa, Evan, Scarlett, Alice, Sydney, Bradley, Max, Hudson, Emmerich, Anna, Clara, and Lochlann.

While her children were still young, Erin returned to school at Rock Valley College to obtain her nursing degree. She went on to work as a nurse at Swedish American Hospital, the Visiting Nurses Association and at Rockford Memorial Hospital. She very much enjoyed connecting with her patients and was known to put in the extra effort to ensure that each one was treated with respect and love.

Erin as her friends and family knew, was never one to idle for long. She always had a project to attend to, whether it was painting a picture, refinishing a table, sewing a costume, planting a garden, painting the house, reupholstering a couch, or renovating her kitchen. She proved that you could complete almost any task with a bit of determination and elbow grease. Later in life, one of her proudest accomplishments was learning to ride a motorcycle, starting with a Honda and moving up to a Harley Davidson. Erin and Tom spent many weekends during the summer riding together or with friends. They went on long road trips, including adventures to the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota as well as trips to Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri. This brought her and Tom great joy during the last few years.

She was always a lover of animals and adopted and cared for numerous cats and dogs during her life. She will be greatly missed by her cat Duff and her dog Kota, who would never willingly leave her side.
It is difficult to put such a full and well-lived life into so few words. Erin’s love and pride in her family is her legacy and for this she was proud.

A private funeral service will be planned for Friday, May 7 to be followed by an open house celebration of life from 5-7 pm at The Rafters in Lena, Illinois. All are welcome to attend the open house.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Rush University Breast Cancer Research fund in honor of Erin as she benefited greatly from evolving breast cancer research during her time in treatment. We also encourage adoption or donation to the Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue.

Arrangements entrusted to Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Rockford, IL 61108. Share online memories and condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Erin Bueschel, please visit our flower store.


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